The holiday season is a great time to catch up with family and friends, reflect on the past year and enjoy some holiday foods. This can also be a stressful time of year for those striving to eat healthy because of all the big holiday meals. Traveling and making good food choices can be exceptionally difficult. I hope to ease some of that stress by giving you some ideas for making healthy decisions on road trips and while traveling on airlines.
Have a Plan
The most important step to eating healthy while traveling is having a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you will easily be persuaded by unhealthy food options. Having a plan ensures that you have a decision made before temptation arises. A good plan starts by knowing how much time you will have to eat at each meal, and bringing snacks to cover unforeseen delays or flat tires.
When traveling through the airlines, good foods to have on hand are bags of mixed nuts, fruit, veggies, protein powder, RX Bars and potentially some hard-boiled eggs (though your neighbor might not like this idea). If you plan to eat at the airport, the best option is somewhere with a salad. Starbucks is everywhere and offers a good salad option. You can request additional protein and maybe sub the salad dressing for olive oil. If salad is not your thing, Starbucks also has pure protein packed options. Also, remember to drink plenty of water. Your body will thank you.
On the Road
For traveling on the road, a cooler is your best friend. Foods that work well in a cooler are eggs, avocados, deli meats, guacamole, salad greens and dressings like lemon juice, olive or avocado oil and mustard. Non-cooler options are fruits and veggies, nut butter, canned or packaged tuna and mixed nuts.
If you find yourself at a hotel, try to book a room with a mini fridge. Knowing you will have a fridge is a great opportunity to stop at a local grocery store and stock up on the foods listed above. A grocery store is a great substitute for a restaurant. Now days, most grocery stores have a deli where you can get some fresh meats and denser carbs like sweet potatoes or rice. Make a quick stop at the fruit and veggie isles and you have a solid meal! Also, keep your eye out for a salad bar, as these are becoming more popular.
Don’t Stress About It
Finally, don’t make eating healthy a huge stressor during your travels. If fast food is your ONLY option, order a cheeseburger and fries. After that meal, plan out your next meal to set up a healthier option. Remember: have a plan, stick to it, and enjoy the holiday season.
We are one week into an Awesome nutrition challenge. This has been the best challenge we have done to date. Your collaboration with recipe sharing and tips and tricks has been so much fun! So today I’m going to discuss a not so exciting topic of “Paleo-fying”. I know it’s awesome to be able to make our ordinary foods with paleo ingredients but let’s dive into why I think it’s not always the best idea.
The reason we do a nutrition challenge with a paleo focus is to get back to eating real, healthy foods. It’s also to change the way we look at food. A majority of people don’t have the most healthy relationship with food and this allows us to showcase how getting back to the basics and really using food as a source of energy can make you feel amazing. When we paleo-fy our favorite unhealthy foods we’re not really changing any behaviors, thus not changing the way we see food. We see this happen the most with breads and desserts (I’ll nerd out on this more in a moment).
Photo Credit: David Paul Schmit Photography
Let’s say before this paleo challenge you were a hard core carbivour devouring bread and pastas at every turn. Now you’re on the challenge your brain is like “hey where’s the bread, I didn’t agree to this.” Your brain is doing whatever it can to stick to its old way of life so it comes up with the idea to make any type of paleo bread, scone, biscuit, bagel or pasta. Next thing you know you find yourself in the kitchen with Pinterest by your side covered in almond and coconut flour creating all the paleo baked goods. The problem with this is you haven’t really broken the habit or the relationship with the unhealthy foods. You have just subbed them out with something that has “approved” ingredients. However these ingredients in the quantities that are being consumed are not good for us either. When it comes to treats and breads there really is no lesser of two evils.
It’s time to Nerd out for a moment. Almond flour contains a high amount of Omega 6 fatty acids. These are the not so good fatty acids, their good friend Omega 3 fatty acids are amazing and much needed (see fish oil). Although true we need some Omega 6 fats the balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 should be relatively equal. When we flood our system with Omega 6 fats it disrupts the anti-inflammatory properties of the Omega 3’s. We tend to overindulge on these paleo treats because we think we desperately “need” them. This can lead to chronic inflammation in the body which then can lead to reduced recovery, soreness, feeling tired and at the worst end several diseases, even cancers.*
We’re not saying you can’t ever paleo-fy your favorite foods, it just should not be a staple in your everyday routine. We really want you to get the psychological as well as physical benefits of the food you eat. Keep it simple, eat real food, give you body and brain a chance to make the changes to healthy foods and the benefits will be worth it.